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ASEAN Picks Bali

Regional Leaders Rally Round Bali.

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The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), an organization comprised of 10 regional powers, has given a resounding vote of confidence for Bali and Indonesia in choosing Bali as the venue for their annual summit to be held October 7-8, 2003. The decision to choose Bali was taken at the grouping's annual summit recently concluded during the first week of November in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The unanimous decision taken by the leaders of ASEAN gave practical voice to calls issued during the summit for the governments of the developed world to lift the current plethora of travel bans urging their citizens to avoid traveling to Bali and Indonesia in the wake of the terrorist attack of a popular nightspot on October 12, 2002.

The leaders of the countries in the region, many of which have large tourism industries, are eager to persuade western nations that their beaches and resorts are safe for international holidaymakers. Viewing the tragic Bali attack which claimed over 180 people lives as an international terrorist attack, the ASEAN leaders expressed the view that it is unfair to single out either Bali or the region as being at higher risk than any other world destination.

The incoming Secretary General for the organization said that in choosing Bali, "we want to bring back the confidence to Bali. Then we bring back the signal that ASEAN governments are unified and we are together with Indonesia on this."

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